The Guest Post About That Thing That Made Me a Better Photographer

Today's guest rabbit is brought to you by Jenny from Jenny Stricklin Photography.

I adored Jenny from the moment I started mooching pound cake off her family. She proved a homeschooled preacher's kid didn't necessarily need therapy. A beautiful voice, a beautiful heart for God, and a beautiful head of hair. Her flaws? I might point out the size of her noggin, but then there would be an awkward pot/kettle confrontation.

I asked Jenny to guest post because she is an astounding photographer. That fact furrows a brow further when considering she's self-taught. Let her lessons learned be our lessons learned.

Hi fellow Rabbit readers! When Jamie asked me a few weeks ago to guest post, my first thought was, "There is NO WAY I can be half as funny, clever, random or interesting as JAMIE." But I got over myself. And here I am. Thanks for asking, Jamie!

When I had my babies - TWO in almost a year! - and I quit my teaching job to stay at home and raise them, it became extremely necessary for me to find something to stimulate the ol' brain.

While wiping lil' booties, watching Yo Gabba Gabba and devising plans to get my boys to ingest veggies are quite important, I needed something a little more mentally challenging. My husband bought me a decent camera a couple years ago and I started learning how to use it. Before long, I fell in love and worked hard to start making a part-time job out of it.

I'm quite positive there are many other MOM-ographers out there in the exact same boat. Soooooo.... I thought I would share the single most significant thing that helped me when it came to photography and pursuing it...whether as a hobbiest or a professional. And if you could care less about photography, maybe you'd enjoy seeing some pretty pictures of a few darling families...

I began to see the biggest boost in my photography success when I FIGURED OUT MY OWN STYLE and stuck to it. Yes, I learn from other photographers (Sometimes I all but badger people to tell me what they know!) And yes, I read as much as I can on operating my camera, editing and so forth. But when I tried to copycat others and reproduce their style, I floundered.

Now instead, I draw inspiration from various photogs whose work I admire (Helloooooo Jasmine Star!) but if it doesn't fit within my "style framework" I don't try to do it.

Here are four elements I think define my photog style:

1. I love outdoor, natural light settings. I rarely shoot indoors, in studio or with flash. Boo fluorescent/tungsten lighting!

2. I aim for relaxed, semi-directed, candid shots that illuminate the subjects personality. I like to shoot on location that is familiar and comfortable for the family. I'm not a fan of the ultra-posed, cookie cutter shots....Bye-bye Portrait Innovations.

3. I LOVE bright COLOR and crisp images. I don't do much post-processing using black/white, vintage, or hazy filters and I don't appreciate the everybody-in-white-and-khaki look (but that's just me!)

I aim to make the focus of the photo - usually the eyes - as sharp as possible. Oh, and I love using these processing tools. Check 'em out!

4. I like shooting at interesting angles and using the rule of thirds. You won't see me doing a lot of straight on, traditional shots. I love the creative side of figuring out new ways to frame a shot.

So there ya have it. By now, you have either agreed or disagreed with me about photog style.

And that's totally okay.

Figure out what you like and go for it! And if I like it, I might copy you : )
Note from Jamie: Feel free to subscribe to Jenny's photoblog and then copy her. It's flattering, right?

 {images: Jenny Stricklin Photography}


  1. How crazy to read this guest post and see pictures of my FRIENDS showcased!! :-) Love your work. :-)

  2. Great pictures - my sincere apologies on the forced Yo Gabba Gabba viewing....

  3. What are the odds Krista??? Considering you are on another continent...

  4. Crazy, eh? Yep - it's the family under point #2. I used to work with him. :-)

  5. thanks for having me, jamie! and we can find solace in the fact that bigger is always better!

    krista, i'll have to tell them about this connection! small world. Thanks for reading :)

  6. One of the many sacrifices parents make. Although Aunt Jamie DOES enjoy Phineas and Ferb. Even when the littles aren't around.

  7. I have an overwhelming desire to nibble on that baby in the last set of photos. Bad Laurel, bad. But, the photography is absolutely beautiful. 

  8. I don't think his parents would mind if we gnawed on those rubber band wrists for 20-30 seconds, right?


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